Category Archives: lunch

Celebrate The Sandwich – pick from these 14 Chicago restaurants

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August is National Sandwich Month. And who among us doesn’t love the glorious carb-loaded deliciousness of a serious sandwich? Good time to indulge your bread-and-filling  sensors in some new and unique ways at the following new and tried-and-true Chicago restaurants:
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Big Jones5347 N. Clark St. An Andersonville destination, Big Jones’ historically-inspired sandwiches are as delicious as they sound. The Carolina Shrimp Burger features Key West pink shrimp ground and seasoned high, topped with cayenne mayonnaise, chow-chow, butter lettuce and a side of creamy grits. The famous Fat Jones Burger brings together Slagel Farm beef griddled with onions and served on a soft egg bun with oyster remoulade, crisp bacon, lettuce and tomato, with a side of ham fat fries. This southern comfort spot is not to be missed for celebrating sandwiches.
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Bonci applies its pizza expertise to sandwiches

Bonci Pizza161 N. Sangamon St. Beginning mid-August, esteemed Rome-based Chef Gabriele Bonci brings Chicagoans his very first American location of Bonci Pizzeria in the West Loop, offering artisanal, seasonally-inspired pizzas, salads and of course – sandwiches! Guests find mouthwatering selections crafted with house made bread for National Sandwich Month including: Meatball with Mozzarella Cheese, Ricotta and Mortadella, Eggplant or Spinach, Sheep Cheese and Spicy Salami.

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Café Robey2018 W. North Ave. Situated at the high traffic intersection of Milwaukee, North, and Damen in the trendy Wicker Park neighborhood, Café Robey promises one of the most mouthwatering fried chicken sandwiches in the city. Featuring an oh-so-juicy chicken thigh breaded and fried, house made tangy pickles, mayo, and Tabasco, it’s no wonder this sandwich has been Instagrammed regularly since the restaurant opened in December.
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Cupital makes fab subs

Cupitol455 E. Illinois St. Chicago  or 812 Grove St. Evanston. Cupitol has the sandwich game covered. The all-day eatery offers a variety of mouthwatering handhelds on house-made bread at both locations. Try the Roast Beef sandwich, with spiced horseradish and au jus on a French baguette, the Falafel Burger with paprika yogurt and cabbage relish on a sesame brioche bun, or the Shroomed Patty Melt with prime beef, wild mushrooms, Wisconsin sharp cheddar and onion compote on rye.

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The Fifty/502047 W. Division St. The Fifty/50’s all-star sandwich, The Four Courser, piles on slow-smoked, hand-pulled pork shoulder tossed in Gouda Béchamel, fried jalapeños, sweet potato chips, a mac ’n’ cheese waffle and smokey BBQ sauce on a pretzel bun. This sandwich masterpiece can be paired with the diner’s choice of waffle, sweet potato or French fries – the perfect complement sure to satisfy every sandwich quest.
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Filini Bar and Restaurant221 N. Columbus Dr. The Double Griddle Burger is everything you’ll want in a hamburger from the moment you take your first bite. With two smashed beef patties, house made bread and butter pickles, a brioche bun and a secret fancy sauce, Filini’s burger is what summer hamburger dreams are made of. Adding to the summer fun is Filini’s dog-friendly patio for pups wanting some sandwich action too.  There’s a Canine Cuisine menu to investigate as well!
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The Florentine151 W. Adams St. For an Italian twist on National Sandwich Month, guests can head over to The Florentine in The Loop to enjoy a variety of delicious, seasonal sandwiches perfect for lunchtime, whether shopping downtown, sightseeing around the city or grabbing a quick bite with colleagues during the week. Crafted by Executive Chef Zach Walrath, sandwich highlights from the menu include:
  • Soft-shell Crab: fried soft-shell, summer slaw, heirloom tomato, lemon aioli, ciabatta
  • Chicken Panini: smoked mozzarella, peperonata, basil, sourdough
  • Veggie Burger: garbanzo beans, quinoa, kale, avocado, peperonata aioli, whole wheat bun
  • Americano Burger: charred onion, house fry sauce, pickles, American cheese, sesame seed bun
  • BLT Burger: smoked bacon, bibb lettuce, tomato, onion, calabrian chili, havarti cheese, brioche
  • Tomato Brisket: tomato braised beef, red onion, provolone, horseradish, rye
Hewn features serious bread in its sandwiches

Hewn810 Dempster St. Hewn serves up the best thing since sliced bread! Evanston’s premier bakery for fresh, heritage grain bread, offers house-made, grilled to order sandwiches. Using entirely local ingredients, made-daily bread, and seasonal produce, these sandwiches showcase an array of flavors in every bite. Each sandwich is grab-and-go, and can be warmed up by the Hewn bakers for instant enjoyment, or tucked away for a tasty meal later in the day. Menu standouts include Turkey on Country with pickled red onions and turkey from local Amish farmers sandwiched between naturally fermented sourdough bread using all-organic wheat, Reuben with Butcher and Larder’s corned beef with Swiss cheese, house made sauerkraut, and house made thousand island dressing served on whole wheat or caramelized onion bread, and Elementary Grilled Cheesefeaturing white sharp cheddar, Parmigiano Reggiano, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and pickled onions served on rotating breads.

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Michael Jordan’s Steak House505 N. Michigan Ave. Steakhouse lunching done right. Michael Jordan’s Steak House features a variety of hefty sandwiches to satiate the hungriest of appetites. Try the classic Italian Beef with hot giardiniera and provolone, or the Chicken Sandwich on flatbread, with cilantro and harissa yogurt. Need steak for every meal? Dive into the Steak Sandwich with provolone, pickled onion and giardiniera aioli atop a pretzel bun. Add hand-cut, beef-fat fries and lunch is complete.
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Pork and Mindy’s stacked

Pork & Mindy’s1623 N. Milwaukee Ave. Pork & Mindy’s is celebrating National Sandwich Month with the launch of new ’sangwiches’, developed by Food Network Star and Executive Chef, Jeff Mauro. Working with the Sandwich King himself, Pork & Mindy’s is redefining the local BBQ scene incorporating exciting tastes into new world-class creations at the flagship Wicker Park eatery. With handcrafted new menu items for carnivores and vegetarians, there is a ‘sangwich’ for everyone at the creative BBQ destination. Menu highlights include:

  • Pastramindy Reuben: This griddled take on a Rueben combines Pork & Mindy’s house-cured, smoked, and hand-cut pastrami with P&M Mustard sauce and spicy pickles on a marble rye roll, hitting all the important points for a crunchy, gooey, smoky and cheesy sandwich.
  • Crunchy Pork ‘Sangwich’: This ‘sangwich’ features brined, all-natural pork lion, lightly pounded and hand breaded with a craggily, crispy crust. When that crispy hot pork hits the fresh lettuce and spicy apricot habanero mayo, magic happens.
  • Buffalo Cauli: A vegetarian’s dream come true, this ‘sangwich’ is filled with crispy smoked cauliflower steak, tossed in house-made buffalo sauce to bring the heat. It’s then topped with Gorgonzola and creamy buttermilk dill ranch. This revolutionary ingredient combo will make carnivores forget they ever liked meat!
Roots does it all

Roots Handmade Pizza1924 W. Chicago Ave. and 200 W. Lawerence Ave. The mouthwatering textures of pizza meet the culinary magic of sandwiches for a delicious combination with the Foldovers at Roots Handmade Pizza. Foldovers feature the restaurant’s signature malt crust pizza dough stuffed with high quality ingredients, baked for a melty and tasty one-of-a-kind sandwich. Folderovers you can’t miss include:

  • The Fat Eddie: salami, Canadian bacon, Quad Cities mozzarella, shaved parmesan cheese, marinara sauce, French dressing, diced red onions and chopped romaine
  • The Rock Island Arsenal: specially-seasoned Italian sausage patty, two award-winning and scratch-made mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce
  • Chicken Caesar: marinated, grilled and sliced chicken breast, Quad Cities mozzarella cheese blend, shaved parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing and chopped romaine
 Seven Lions, 130 S. Michigan Ave. A sandwich that appeals to visitors and locals alike, the Michigan Avenue staple is offering a Crispy Chicken Sandwich to satisfy the highest of cravings! With the option of enjoying the sandwich slathered in spicy buffalo sauce, the crispy chicken is topped with buttermilk dressed greens and sweet pickles before being smashed between a delicious bun. Not as hungry? Share the Crispy Chicken Sliders with other sandwich lovers, available during Happy Hour.
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Steadfast120 W. Monroe St. The culinary art of sandwiches goes elegant at the chic downtown escape, Steadfast. Decadent sandwiches available on its lunch menu include the Lobster Roll with east coast lobster tail, Old Bay aioli and trout roe, the Portobello Panini with tomato preserves, buffalo mozzarella, basil pistou and roasted portobello mushroom and the Grilled Chicken Torta with brined and smoked chicken breast, cranberry goat cheese, frisee and crispy shallots.
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The Terrace401 N. Wabash Ave. Indulge in pure decadence with The Benjamin Burger, a Wagyu beef burger stuffed with foie gras served with tomato compote, onion jam, truffle aioli, frisee, 10-year aged cheddar, on a gold bun with fries. Guests can enjoy the complimentary accompanying Fat Elvis Milkshake to finish-swirled peanut butter and smoked vanilla milk shake, roasted banana compote, gilded peanuts, and candied bacon. For $100, it’s the perfect date-night sandwich coupled with the stunning views of the city, Lake Michigan and Chicago River. Enjoy on a Wednesday or Saturday for a truly perfect evening with the best view in town of the Navy Pier Fireworks.
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Eat hearty in July at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap

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July Mac of the Month

Mac and Cheese Day – 7/14: Get cheesed with Spin Dip Mac at Jake Melnick’s. Jake’s Creamy house-made mac n’ cheese is tossed with their creamy spinach artichoke dip, topped with cheddar and Swiss cheese then baked until golden. Garnished with fresh tomato, Parmesan, pita chips and Sriracha crema.

Ice Cream Day – 7/19: Treat yourself to Jake Melnick’s Hot Fudge Sundae ($6.25) after a “fish” dinner.

July Ahi Tuna Burger

The Asian B.L.T.T. is the perfect summer burger featuring a hand-packed Ahi Tuna burger, topped with smoked teriyaki bacon, wasabi ranch salad and crispy wontons. The salad is on the burger so it counts, right? BTW, July is Ice Cream Month so don’t hold yourself back from celebrating all month long!

 
July Pina Colada Wings

International Chicken Wing Day – 7/29Grab a basket of the Spicy Pina Colada Wings, the perfect celebration flavor. Jake’s jumbo wings are fried until crispy, tossed in their house-made spicy pina colada sauce and garnished with toasted coconut. Served with Ranch dressing.

Oh, and just in case you don’t have enough carbs, it’s also National French Fry day on Friday, 7/14. Jake’s will be selling $5 specialty baskets this Friday, the 14th including the Breakfast and Street Fries.
Go and consume in peace and happiness.
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Now brunch gives to Maggiano’s Make A Wish campaign

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#eatadishforMAK at Maggiano’s brunch

Maggiano’s has been partnering with Make A Wish® for years. They designate certain dishes that, when you order one, they automatically donate a certain dollar amount to help Make A Wish kids. Check out Maggiano’s web page to meet the young fourth-grader Joshua who is the 2017 Maggiano’s Make A Wish Ambassador.  And check out the mouth-watering selection of dishes you can order and contribute to getting Joshua the service dog he has always dreamed of.

Maggiano’s Make A Wish white chocolate cannoli cake

Maggiano’s, the most popular family-style Italian restaurant chain in America, is always doing good things for the community while giving you good things for your appetite. And now you can donate by enjoying brunch any weekend from 11am to 3 pm. LOVE those lemon ricotta pancakes. And how about a mile-high piece of white chocolate cannoli cake? Num.

Spread the word , folks. Hashtag #eatadish4maw

 

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Pre-summer food, music and wine

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Pre-summer blooms off Michigan Ave.

Summer is at hand, people. No reason not to start right now enjoying the music, food and fun that are always on offer throughout our great city from spring through late fall. Here are a few opportunities to get you rolling…

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival, on Sheffield from Belmont to Roscoe St. Sun. May 27 – Mon. May 28, 2017 – noon to 10pm.  And don’t fail to check out Trader Todd’s karaoke stage and contest – try out for best singer and look forward  to the award ceremonies in June at Trader Todd’s tiki bar, 3216 N. Sheffield. Check out our review on Trader Todd’s brunch here.
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Happy 40thbirthday, Potbelly! Thursday, June 1, they’re giving a $40,000 donation to One Summer Chicago. Check out the limited-time Potbelly birthday menu items,  and enjoy 40% off Originals sandwiches in-shop at Potbelly nationwide between 11am-3pm. Find your nearest Chicago Potbelly location and go enjoy.
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Dog-friendly, burger/beer specials. Burger + Beer promotion at The Patio at Café Brauer. From May 26 – May 29, get a juicy, succulent burger and a domestic beer for $15.95 all Memorial Day weekend. Read our rave review of Cafe Brauer here.
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English: Band shell in Millennium Park by Fran...
English: Band shell in Millennium Park by Frank Gehry – Pritzker, from across Michigan Avenue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Music at Pritzker Pavillion. Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer – two weeks before the Grant Park Music Festival season begins. To celebrate, order a One Night Pass and get a reserved seat close to the stage for any Festival concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. And when you order online this weekend, you’ll save 25% on select seats for any concert in June! Use promo code MEMORIAL when you order online at gpmf.org. Offer expires Monday,  May 29 at 11:59 PM. Or,  explore our entire 2017 season. Choose any four concerts (excluding Beethoven Symphony No. 9 on August 18 and 19) with a Choose Your Own membership and we’ll add the Festival’s Independence Day Salute as our way of saying thank you.

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Rich and rewarding Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

For home barbeques or hostess gifts, consider one of these excellent wines from Black Stallion Estate Vineyards. Black Stallion Chardonnay 2015, Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, and Black Stallion Sauvignon Blanc 2015 are deliciously complex and rich tasting. Perfect companions to grilled shrimp or lobster, super-marbled steak cooked a pointe on the grill, and any favorite traditional accompaniments like mustard potato salad, veggie pastasauteed fresh garlic asparagus or superb sauteed mushrooms.  Get your Black Stallion wines from these Chicago area retailers: SavWay Wine & Spirits, Garfield’s Beverage Warehouse, Sunset Foods, Woodman’s, Heinen’s, or talk to your friendly Binny’s folks.

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And if you’re into  higher-end wines, here’s a list of special Black Stallion wines that have garnered serious recognition lately:

  • Wine & Spirits magazine “100 Best Buys of the Year” – 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 92 Points
  • James Suckling’s list of “Top 100 Reds of Napa Valley 2016” – 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 93 Points
  • Decanter: 2013 Barrel Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 91 pts; 2013 Transcendent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; Highly recommended, 91 pts;  2013 Gaspare Estate Vineyard, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 90 pts; 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Highly recommended, 90 pts;
  • Wine Enthusiast: 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: 90 pts; 2014 Los Carneros Pinot Noir: 90 pts
  • Robert M. Parker, Jr. / Wine Advocate (Barrel samples): 2014 Bucephalus Red Blend: (91-93); 2014 Barrel Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: (90-92); 2014 Transcendent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: (90-92)
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3 Chicago restaurants with news for spring 2017

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Firecakes inside Lou and Grey

Firecakes Donuts will operate for two months a pop-up donut counter inside Lou & Grey, the contemporary women’s apparel store at 3442 N. Southport Ave. Locals and visitors alike are finding it a place to grab a great cup of coffee and a fabulous donut. Or visit Firecakes Lincoln Park store, 2453 N. Clark St. or its Hubbard Street location, 68 W Hubbard St.

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Firecakes Donuts also operates a Donut Truck in the Loop on weekday mornings and, in season, in the evenings and on weekends at various neighborhoods around Chicago. The Donut Truck also can be booked from private events and catering; please call 312-329-6500 for more information. Delivery, catering and pre-orders are available. Please place orders by 3 p.m. for next day pickup or Chicagoland delivery.  Firecakes also serves a giant birthday cake donut that serves 2-3 people and an ice cream donut sandwich. Firecakes Donuts serves coffee from La Colombe Roasters. Major cards are accepted. For more information, please call the stores at 312-329-6500 (W. Hubbard St.) and 773-666-5277 (N. Clark St.)
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Weber Grill Restaurant in Chicago
Weber Grill Restaurant in Chicago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Weber Grill Restaurant539 N. State St. (also Lombard, Schaumburg, Indianapolis), on Easter Sunday (April 16th) offers  grownups traditional holiday favorites, plus either Mimosa ($7) or Backyard Bloody Mary (Absolut vodka, housemade bloody Mary mix served with smoked sausage & Gouda skewer and a mini backyard brew 10.5). Along with their brunch plate, kids get Easter eggs filled with candy and special treats.

 
Brunch “A-la-carte” Features Served Until 2:00pm – Grilled Steak & Eggs Southwest Style Skirt Steak and Eggs Any Style Guajillo Salsa, Breakfast Potatoes ($17.50); Chocolate Cherry Pretzel Bread French Toast Fresh Strawberries, Whipped Cream ($10.50); Double Smoked Bourbon Glazed Ham Benedict, hollandaise, toasted English muffin grilled asparagus, breakfast potatoes ($14); Kid’s Brunch Plate (Twelve & Under), choice of scrambled eggs or pretzel bread French toast ($6.50).
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Weber’s full Dinner Menu served all day plus two specials: House Smoked Bourbon Glazed Ham, horseradish cream sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus ($16); and Wood-Roasted Leg of Lamb, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, rosemary jus ($20).
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Snap Kitchen is excited to introduce three internationally inspired dishes, each boasting a unique primary health benefit. With an obsession for food innovation and believing that eating healthy should be really fun, Snap Kitchen was inspired to create three incredible new Bowls with Benefits, available in store or for delivery. The product of the collaboration between Snap Kitchen’s research and development chefs and dietitian, each bowl is based on a super-flavorful take on cauliflower rice, topped with nutrient-rich ingredients. The lineup includes a Whole30-approved bowl and vegan option.
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The Tex-Mex Chicken Bowl is Snap Kitchen’s take on the classic burrito bowl, with anti-inflammatory ingredients and superfoods like turmeric and spirulina for a whole new spin. The Tex-Mex bowl contains:
  • Spanish cauliflower rice with a smoky flavor from smoked paprika and mega anti-inflammatory benefits from turmeric;
  • spirulina crema made from cashew, avocado, and spirulina that offers up healthy fats and B vitamins;
  • topped with fajita veggies and chicken, and homemade red salsa.
Meatball & Kimchi Stir Fry Bowl with natural probiotics and nourishing prebiotics to get your gut in check. This bowl features:
  • kimchi fried rice made from cauliflower rice stir fried with fresh garlic, ginger, and kimchi;
  • grass-fed beef meatballs made with sautéed ginger, onion, and mushrooms for a tender texture and veggie bonus;
  • kimchi with fermented cabbage and sea vegetables featuring naturally occurring probiotics;
  • plus organic edamame, stir fried veggies, and ginger sesame vinaigrette.
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Packed with plant-based ingredients full of antioxidants, the Mediterranean Mezze Bowl is the most beauty-full meal at Snap Kitchen yet. This bowl features:

  • kale and cauliflower tabbouleh with zucchini, onion, jalapeno, and garlic;
  • golden turmeric chickpeas full of nutrients from turmeric, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast;
  • vegan tzatziki that starts with cashew crema with chopped cucumber, lemon zest, mint, and dill for a tangy addition to the bowl’s flavor lineup;
  • beet hummus full of nutrients like betalains with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification benefits that give your skin a healthy glow;
  • plus roasted red bell pepper and eggplant, and Kalamata olives.
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Order ahead or get them for delivery on the new Snap Kitchen app for iOS – it’s a beautiful app with full color pics that’ll make you even hungrier.

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U of C eats free at Nando’s Peri-Peri January 17

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Food served in Nando's
Food served in Nando’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

January 17 will go down in the history books as the birthday of renowned Chicagoans Michelle Obama, Dwayne Wade and, yes, Al Capone. And now a new chapter is written. For Tuesday, January 17, will be the day Nando’s PERi-PERi invites the University of Chicago to eat at Nando’s new Hyde Park restaurant, for free.

All day Tuesday, from 11am to 10pm, students, faculty and staff who present a valid University of Chicago ID can enjoy a free spicy flame-grilled 1/4 chicken, chicken sandwich, wrap, or pita.*

Nando’s will officially open its doors in Hyde Park at 1447 E. 53rd Street on Saturday, January 14. Nando’s will pay it forward that day by donating 100 percent of opening-day sales to the Kenwood Academy High School in Hyde Park, to help fund college visits for students at one of the best public schools in the city.

University of Chicago students and staff are welcome then, or again on Tuesday, when the restaurant opens for free to the Maroon community. Vita excolatur! Let your life be enriched with delicious Nando’s PERi-PERi!

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Chicagoans can now subscribe to lunch and save

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IMG_0150
IMG_0150 Generic lunches. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not delivery convenient, but it’s a chance to get out and exercise without killing your whole lunch hour or having to rush through a restaurant meal.

MealPal launched its subscription lunch service in Chicago today with more than 50 restaurants on board. Choose menu options from local restaurants for less than $6 per meal – and skip those annoying lines.

Chicago and DC are the latest cities to join the crowd. In New York, San Francisco, Boston and Miami, weekday lunch crowds have now ordered over 500,000 meals from more than 1,000 restaurants. MealPal has also recently introduced Pal, a smart bot that uses artificial intelligence to personalize your choices.
  • Preferences. Pal will ask you a series of questions to understand which ingredients you like and don’t like. That way you see meal options that fit your tastes.
  • Reminders and calendar integration. Pal will remind users to reserve lunch on any given day if you forget, and will add lunch reservations to your calendar.
  • Longer booking window. Previously, you couldn’t start ordering until 7pm the day before to select your lunch for the following day – but now you can check out the next day’s menu starting at 5pm.
 The service is simple to use. Visit the website or mobile app to browse the daily menu, filtering meals by cuisine and portion size. Reserve your meal by 9:30am, choosing a time to pick up your lunch. When you pick up your food, skip the line and be in and out of the restaurant in less than 30 seconds.
Six bucks for lunch? Not bad. And you don’t have to sign up to use it everyday. As of right now, it’s only available in the Loop but they expect to add more ‘hoods soon.
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